The most common problem that arises with short sales concerns unrealistic expectations regarding the time of the transaction. Buyers need to understand the entire process, and the reasons for potential delays.

From a seller’s perspective, part of the sales pitch should include that the price discount includes the potential relatively long road to closing. The horror stories of the past when transactions went into their eighth month have been replaced with ninety days realistic, but know that time may get stretched out.

Much of this decrease in expected transaction time is the banks becoming more efficient with the paperwork and negotiation process. The reality of the large number of short sales has created the demand for the bank to accept the inevitable and cut their own transaction costs

Much of this blog is dedicated to anticipating problems and solving them in advance. Discuss with the buyer that they should expect between ninety and 150 days of transaction time. Set the expectation that the transaction takes longer than a traditional real estate deal.

Reinforce that you have discussed the guidelines with the bank and they are ready to accept the deal within the guidelines. Also, state you cannot speak for the bank’s future actions, but you have vetted the deal in advance. Show the due diligence letters you have written to confirm the understanding.

Commit everyone to the deal as early as possible, but understand the unknown factor may require adaptations later.

– Abe Woody, Managing Negoitator,